Thursday, 26 November 2015

Bird I'Th Hand, 20 Bank Street, Bolton

The Bird I’th Hand was one of Bolton’s oldest pubs having been mentioned on the licensing records for 1778. It was situated at 20 Bank Street just up from the nightclub known in later years as Maxwell’s Plum or the Late Bar.

The pub was also a lodging house, though it didn’t always attract a desirable clientele in what was a rough part of the town centre. Here’s a court case from the middle of the nineteenth century:

James Taylor, a respectably-dressed young man, was charged with having stolen a quantity of wearing apparel from the house of Mr James Suttie, the Bird-i-th’-Hand, Bank-street. He got lodgings in the house on Saturday evening, and at midnight, after he had pretended to go to bed, he attempted to leave the house unseen, taking with him nearly all the female servants’ wearing apparel. Committed for trial.

Manchester Courier, 28 August 1852

James Suttie was later at the Coe Street Tavern.

The final landlord of the Bird I’Th Hand was James Brownlow. The pub closed in 1870 and in Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough tells us that it existed as a lodging house by 1876. But by 1895 it was a club, the Friendly Societies Working Men’s Club, and existed as such at least until the 1920s. 

The building that stands on the site is not the original. However, in recent years the site has housed the Taboosh Takeaway and the Via Italia restaurant before the Taboosh Shisha bar opened on in 2010.

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